Month: August 2013

Discrete deployment terms unfit for the hybrid world, warns Claranet

In a hybrid world, in which any combination of cloud services may be consumed by a single customer, rigid definitions of cloud deployment models may serve to hinder rather than promote innovation, Claranet warns today.

Michel Robert, Claranet’s UK managing director, says:

Definitions such as PaaS or IaaS have been useful in a rapidly evolving market in differentiating between cloud services and the attributes of each. However, the reality is customer requirements tend to be best addressed by combining different elements of these services together. The result is that while many organisations want a to take advantage of cloud services, the categories of cloud can create a false sense of inflexibility and confusion as to the best way forward.

“IaaS and PaaS as stand alone services may not be suitable, particularly for the mid-market, where many customers are looking for managed services to remove the burden of application and infrastructure management. In many cases, it will be a mix of services which will be required – satisfying their need for both control and ease of management” he continued.

Robert went on to suggest that with the predicted hybridisation of the cloud industry, deployment terms will become increasingly unhelpful, and that businesses would need to take a more holistic view of their IT requirements:

“The relevance of these discrete terms is diminishing. Analysts and technology firms are predicting a hybrid world, mixing on-premise IT with off, mixing dedicated with shared hosting, and mixing public and private cloud.

“The new realities of cloud adoption mean that businesses need help in making the move to cloud and plotting their migration paths. MSPs should be looking to leverage the range of cloud services as components of a service rather than the service itself. In doing so, there will be greater innovation and customer requirements will be better served,” Robert concluded.

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Kremlin goes back to the future to secure data – but managed services will be more practical for most, says Claranet

While the news that the Kremlin is going to spend £10,000 on a number of electronic typewriters in an attempt to eliminate the risk of damaging data leaks might raise a chuckle, it does show the level of concern over how best to safeguard sensitive data in an increasingly complex IT world, says Claranet Managing Director Michel Robert.

Increasing the creation of paper documentation is probably not a great idea,” Robert said. “Not only can it be difficult and time-consuming to identify valuable information in paper documents, but they can also represent a security risk themselves, especially from internal threats. And that’s before even considering the threats posed by fire, flood, or other natural disaster that might destroy those documents.”

As the vast majority of data is created by business systems, the primary focus remains on securing IT systems, Robert said: “If you are concerned about safeguarding your data, your first step should be to evaluate how much of your data is actually sensitive, how long it needs to be retained for, and how often it will be accessed. In taking this approach there is the opportunity to reduce complexity and the volumes of data stored securely.

“Having completed this audit, IT decision-makers can focus on building the right mix of internal and external services to meet their requirements. It is important to carefully consider network security and resilience, including private MPLS networks, encryption, and integrated 3G services to address mobile working,” he continued.

“Not all managed service providers are born equal, however. Organisations need to identify a provider with the capacity to supply integrated hosting, communication, and network services, providing a solution that is bespoke to their needs. Transparency over how and where data is stored is also crucial, with in-country data centres providing assurances as to sovereignty,” Robert concluded.

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